City high school students, don’t miss your chance to tell Mayor Peduto what to do. The deadline is next week for Pittsburgh Public Schools high schoolers to apply for a spot on Mayor William Peduto’s task force on public education. The 21-member body will meet through the spring and summer to study and recommend ways to strengthen our public schools and surrounding communities, and issue a report at the start of the next school year. For more information on the task force, click here.
If you are a certified lifeguard or are interested in obtaining certification, the Citiparks Aquatics Division is looking for you. They are currently recruiting lifeguards for the 2014 summer season. Lifeguards must be City of Pittsburgh residents and at least 16 years of age by May 30, 2014. The starting pay rate is $8.82 an hour. If you are interested in working as a lifeguard for Citiparks, please contact the Aquatic Division Office at 412-323-7928.
No matter where your interest lies, there’s a volunteer opportunity out there to match it. Pittsburgh Cares gathers dozens and dozens of volunteer opportunities from their regional nonprofit partners and lists them on their website. They make it easy for anyone to volunteer by allowing you to search by date through their calendar, or by keyword, or by proximity, or various other criteria.
Are you passionate about creating jobs and strengthening the middle class? Do you want to fix our broken immigration system? Will you fight climate change? Do you yearn to prevent gun violence? Do you want to get the facts out about ObamaCare? Will you work to protect women’s rights and ensure marriage equality? If advocating on behalf of progressive issues like these is where you heart lies, you have until January 12th to apply for an Organizing for Action Spring Fellowship.
In an effort to rebuild Pittsburgh’s presence on the national stage, Mayor-Elect Bill Peduto traveled to Seattle, Washington this week to participate in three major conferences addressing issues from education and public health to the future of urban libraries to the economic sustainability of cities. The Mayor-Elect traveled at the invitation of The Grable Foundation, The Sprout Fund, and The National League of Cities, the latter of which welcomed the City of Pittsburgh back as a member.
10,000 youth leaders will be converging in Pittsburgh this fall for Power Shift. The conference is being held to help to build a stronger climate movement to “fight fracking, divest from fossil fuels, demand climate justice, and build a clean energy economy that works for everyone.” Usually, Power Shift is a Washington, D.C. event, but for the first time it will be held here in Pittsburgh (October 18 – 21, 2013).
Even though mental illness touches so many lives–every year, 1 in 4 American adults endure the trials of a mental health condition–there still remains a stigma attached to it. “Writing Away the Stigma: With True Stories Well Told” is a five-part creative nonfiction writing workshop for those who have experienced mental health issues themselves or through their relationship with a family member or friend. It’s the creation of Creative Nonfiction and Staunton Farm Foundations and is open to residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
We wrote last month about the Good Neighbor Campaign. It was created to facilitate better relations between off-campus student residents and long-term residents in the Oakland neighborhood. The University of Pittsburgh and various neighborhood groups are participating in this effort. The campaign includes educating student residents on how to be better neighbors and to encourage responsible partying. It also includes promoting conversation between non-student and student residents (approximately 65 percent of Oakland’s residents are enrolled in college or graduate school).
Pittsburgh Westinghouse is one of 10 high schools in the Pittsburgh Public School district. Located in Homewood and established in 1917, it has an especially rich musical heritage. It’s alumni includes Billy Strayhorn (jazz composer, known for “Lush Life” and “Take the “A” Train”), Erroll Garner (jazz pianist and composer), Ahmad Jamal (jazz pianist), and Frank Cunimondo (jazz pianist). But right now, budget cuts have hit their music program hard–they have lost their instrumental program and their chorus teacher and one teacher is handling it all.
America’s public schools have always been one of our best democratizing institutions and yet they are increasingly under attack from all sides. It’s not only the reoccurring budget cuts, it’s also the efforts towards privatization, and the pressure to teach to the test (or face punitive measures).